I visited Dhaka in Bangladesh twice for the Baul Dimension production project. The French Foreign Ministry has helped me to setup my trip . Mr Raynouart and Mr Steyer, cultural advisors for the French Embassy of Dhaka, gave me a great support as well.
As soon as i landed the first time in Dhaka, I was chocked by the poverty, pollution, huge traffic, overcrowded city. However, day after day, moving from place to another, I found out that everybody I bumped into was smiling, warm and friendly. To understand my impressions be free to watch “Positive Bangla”. This video I’ve made with my shoots of smiling people on the streets of Dhaka.
The 2 times I’ve recorded in Dhaka, my Friend Bari Siddiqui gave me a big help for organize the recordings sessions.
Bari is a very famous flautist and singer in the country. He is an incredible artist who has gigs all around the world and he also makes music for Bangladeshi movies. Bari helped me in selecting some of the best musicians on the place: Firuz Khan, Norul Haque, Rita, Sonil, Rabindra Svatil Paul, Sheik Jasim and some other great musicians. You can listen to all of them through many of my tunes.
Every morning i used to the studio by rickshaw, baby taxi. I remember one day there has been a general strike in the transport !!
For my second trip to Dhaka, I ‘ve recorded my samples at “Tones and Tunes Studio”, a funny place located in an accommodation building and equipped with 80’s mixing desk and tape machines . Everybody out there was so nice and astonished to be visited by a guy coming from France and making some unusual music!
They told me that they “have never seen European people here to record !! “
Bangladeshi studios are odd places, always full of people: someone for the tea, someone for the food an other one for opening the door …. !! Great ambiences and kind people.
I really have had great time to record in Dhaka .
Please watch this video: Tone Tune Ganja
i’ve also encountered a great Lady: Bibi Russel. She is an international former top model of the seventies who has created “Fashion for Development”, a project promoting the techniques of Bangladeshi craftsmen. Bibi is also Embassador of the Unesco. The first time I met her I’ve been so impressed by her beauty and her charisma. She has also took under her protection many children of the streets of Dhaka. I visited her workshop many times. An outstanding place in Dhaka downtown and I’ve recorded there some great Bauls artists. Typical “Bauls” of Bangladesh are people who attempt to liberate the soul from the body through music and dance. Bibi set up for me a meeting with Farida Parveen, a notable artist in Bangladesh. She also drove me to visit the Dhahka Movies Studio. Something similar to Bollywood. It is an incredible place. You feel yourself like in a Fellini film. Few months later, Bibi visited me in France and I have recorded her voice in my studio.You can listen to my tune Fashion for Development featuring Bibi voice.
During my stay, I’ve also visited the country side. I saw rivers, lakes, the water is everywhere. There are so many villages where people have an antique way of life. Bangladesh is 162 millions people and the territory is the quarter of France. I’m so scared for their future with the Global Warming. I’ve also visited Sonargaon which is the former main city of the country.A bewitching place with a very old Palace located near a lake.
Bangladesh is one of the world ‘s fascinating places I’ve visited. I ‘ll never forget my “Baul Dimension” Experience . One day Bari Siddiqui told me that while playing with his own flute, he chooses by himself the right bamboo in the right field ….. I’m making music using the up-to-date technology of last generation of Macintosh computers ….. My Baul Dimension story is an exeptional cultural meeting. So there’s a lot of happiness to get connection between People through Music. My Dhaka recording sessions have fed many of my tunes and I still have some of them unused.